Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Story of Eyup Sultan Cami - Istanbul, Turkey

The front view of Eyub Mosque
The front door to the mosque
The last time I visited Istanbul I missed this mosque. With almost 3,000 mosques and 600 of them built during the Ottoman period, it is impossible to visit all. You just have to be selective! I think there is no other city in the world with so many mosques like Istanbul. Every where, every corner you turn to, you'll find a mosque. And they all look almost alike, reminding us how imposing was the influence of the famous Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan. 

This time I am determined to visit Eyub Sultan Cami, not just for its amazing architectural delight but also for its historical values. From the bus station near Galata bridge, we took bus No.99 to get to Eyub precinct. The bus fare is very cheap, about 3 lira for a return. They won't take money on the bus so you need to buy the ticket from a booth near the fish restaurants. It is a nice feeling to get on the bus because it gives a different feel to be among the locals. The 15 minutes drive along the Golden Horn was very scenic. We asked the driver to stop us near the mosque and he nodded upon hearing the word Eyub Sultan Cami. 

In Solitude

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari was a close companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was an Ansar with whom the Prophet stayed upon arriving in Medina in 622. The mosque is built in honor of Eyub who fell ill, had to withdraw and passed away during the battle in Constantinople. His last wish was conveyed to Yazid and he requested to be buried at the walls of Constantinople. 

Ironically, after he was buried outside the walls, his tomb was venerated by the Byzantine. In 1453, Mehmet the Conqueror besieged Constantinople and he built a grand tomb and a mosque on the site of Eyup burial ground. The 1766 earthquake destroyed the building and on the same site Sultan Selim III constructed a new mosque in 1800. This is Eyub Sultan Cami that we see today.
The mosque is frequently visited by foreigners and locals, Muslims and non-Muslims. We arrived in the early morning and there was much lesser crowd than it used to be. The surrounding was very peaceful and as we approached the interior of the mosque...Masyallah, it is such a beautiful mosque. It gives a sense of tranquility and inner peace!
The interior
The blue chandelier matches the center piece of the carpet
The simple interior of the dome 
Cool and calm
The cemetery next to the mosque
Foreign visitors preparing themselves before entering the mosque
The sheeps for Kurban
The Mihrab
The Sultan's signature engraved on the tap


  1. Brother,I have visited ayub sultan mosque and raodhae hazrat ayub ansari.i liked and I thank Allah.brother,I want to know which sultan is buried at the foot of hazret ayub ansari,s grave.thanks,my email add# t.alam51@hotmail.com

  2. Yes brother, I like this mosque more than Sultanahmet Mosque. However, I don't know which Sultan is buried at the foot of Ayub Al Ansari.